Choo Choo
You Can Do It, Brennan

The Taste of Fall

P1040028 As promised, here are some great recipes for y’all to peruse. I am all about cooking seasonally, and with the amazing Fall days we’ve had recently, it’s certainly put me in the mood to spend some extra time in the kitchen. And when Brennan takes a bite of the pumpkin bread and literally says, “Mmmmm” while grabbing for the next bite, well, it makes me want to whip out those beaters and oven mitts all the more!

For our dinner guests on Sunday night, I made Cumberland Chicken and Herbed Spinach Bake. I served Sister Schubert’s rolls and fresh grapes as additional accompaniments. For dessert, I made the Apple Dapple cake. It might just be one of Matt’s new favorites, and our family has regularly been a fan of the Cumberland Chicken.

Another menu I put together this week was Stuffed Bell Peppers served with a side salad and pumpkin bread.

As a note for those gluten/wheat free folks: you can easily substitute regular all-purpose flour with gluten free baking mixes. It should change the consistency slightly, but not the taste. I don’t know of a great substitute for the seasoned bread crumbs in the Cumberland chicken, however. That’s one of the recipes we splurge on, and you can always use a minimal coating of bread crumbs on the chicken.

If you try these out, let me know what you think. Enjoy the tastes of Fall, friends!


Cumberland Chicken

recipe courtesy of Desert Treasures by The Junior League of Phoenix

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 cups seasoned bread crumbs

3 TBSP sesame seeds

4 chicken breasts, split

1/2 cup melted butter


1 cup red current jelly

1 can (6 oz.) frozen orange juice, thawed

4 TBSP wine or sherry

1 tsp. dry mustard

1/8 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce

  • Mix cheese, crumbs and seeds.
  • Dip chicken pieces in butter, then crumbs. Place in shallow pan.
  • Drizzle remaining butter over chicken pieces.
  • Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.


  • Combine all ingredients and simmer until smooth. Serve with chicken.

Serves 8.


Herbed Spinach Bake

recipe courtesy of San Francisco a La Carte by The San Francisco Junior League

10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 cup cooked rice

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp. salt

2 TBSP chopped onion

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

2 TBSP butter, melted

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, blending thoroughly. Pour into a buttered 9 by 9-inch baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


Apple Dapple Cake

recipe courtesy of San Francisco a La Carte by The San Francisco Junior League


2 cups sugar

1.5 cups corn oil

3 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 cups finely diced apples (I used Granny Smith)

2 cups chopped pecans

2 tsp. vanilla extract


1 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 pound butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine sugar and oil and beat well. Add eggs one at a time. Sift dry ingredients and stir into egg mixture. Beat in apples, nuts, and vanilla. Pour into a buttered springform tube pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Combine glaze ingredients and boil for 3 minutes. Reserving 1/3 cup, pour over the hot cake. Cool and remove from pan. Just before serving pour remaining glaze over.


Stuffed Green Peppers

recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

2 large green sweet peppers

3/4 lb. ground beef

1/3 cup chopped onion

1- 7.5 oz. can tomatoes, cut up

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup long grain rice

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. dried oregano or dried basil

1/2 cup shredded American cheese

salt and pepper

1 small can (or fresh) of diced green chiles (optional…this is my family’s own secret addition)


  • Halve sweet peppers lengthwise, removing stem ends, seeds, and membranes. Immerse peppers into boiling water for 3 minutes. If desired, sprinkle insides with a dash of salt. Invert on paper towels to drain.
  • In a large skillet cook meat and onion till meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in undrained tomatoes, water, uncooked rice, Worcestershire sauce, basil or oregano, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and chiles if so desired. (I also season the beef with garlic powder and lemon pepper.) Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 to 18 minutes or till rice is tender. Stir in 1/4 cup of cheese.
  • Fill peppers with meat mixture. Place in a 2-quart square baking dish. Bake in a 375 degree oven about 15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Let stand about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4.


Pumpkin Bread

(recipe courtesy of Matt’s Aunt Gloria)

1 cup canola oil (you can use 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup oil if you want to cut down on fat)

3 cups sugar

4 eggs

3.5 cups flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1.5 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 cup water

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 pkg. chopped dates (optional)

15 oz. can solid pack pumpkin

  • Combine all ingredients except pecans and dates mixing well; then fold in pecans and dates.
  • Grease and flour 3 loaf pans.
  • Fill each 1/2 full and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Make sure toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool 15 minutes and remove from pans to cool completely.


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